Tuesday, Nov 22 2005
View RENIGEID's food & exercise for this day
36 mins walking with Ebby & Ren on afternoon woods walk. Cold!!
Took Ebby to hosp this AM (5:00) for more tests.
A TIME TO REFLECT!
A little long, kinda sad, but a moving story none the less. Makes me think about life in general, the loss of friends, loved ones and the dogs, (best friends) I've had (or have they had me?) during my life time. A reason to reflect. Hope you enjoy and have a nice day. Jim
>"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me.
>you do anything right?" Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my
>toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him.
>lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another
>"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice
>measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at
>me, then turned away and settled back.
>At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect
>thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The
>rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do
>Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being
>outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of
>nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed
>often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to
>The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy
>log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone,
>straining to lift it He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about
>his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a
>Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An
>ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to
>keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an
>operating room. He was lucky; he survived.
>But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately
>refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were
>turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned,
>finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
>My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm.
>hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a
>week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was
>satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and
>Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and
>argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation.
>clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of
>session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind but the months
>wore on and God was silent.
>A raindrop struck my cheek. I looked up into the gray sky. Somewhere up
>there was "God." Although I believe a Supreme Being had created the
>universe. I had difficulty believing that God cared about the tiny human
>being on this earth. I was tired of waiting for a God who didn't answer.
>Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.
>The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each
>the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my
>to each of the sympathetic voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was
>giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read
>that might help you! Let me go get the article." I listened as she read.
>article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the
>patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes
>had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
>I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a
>questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of
>disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each
>contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black
>dogs, spotted dogs - all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one
>but rejected one after the other for various reasons?oo big, too small,
>much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner
>struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down.
>It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a
>caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades
>gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes
>that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me
>I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked,
>shook his head in puzzlement "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere
>sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be
>down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His
>is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to
>the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"
>"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every
>unclaimed dog." I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited
>my decision. "I'll take him," I said.
>I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the
>house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when
>Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!"
>Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I
>would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than
>that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully
>and turned back toward the house.
>Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded
>into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad
>ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled
>angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing
>We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer
>pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front
>him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw. Dad's lower jaw trembled
>he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes.
>pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.
>It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the
>pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They
>spent long hours walking down dusty lanes They spent reflective moments on
>the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend
>Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly
>Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's
>bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one
>I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed
>covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick,
>on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face
>serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.
>Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne
>dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had
>on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently
>thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of
>The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks
>the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved
>for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had
>made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to
>both Dad and the dog who had changed his life And then the pastor turned
>13:2. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." I've often thanked God
>sending that angel," he said.
>For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not
>before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article,
>Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter, his calm
>and complete devotion to my father, and the proximity of their deaths. And
>suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.